London: Manchester United have the highest wage bill in the Premier League, according to figures released on Monday. United paid out a total Â£214.8 million ($324 million) on salaries in the 2013-14 season, while English champions Manchester City's wage costs dropped last season to Â£205 million.
Chelsea, currently top of the Premier League, paid Â£190.5 million, up eight per cent from Â£176 million, according to the club's annual accounts which were lodged at Companies House this week. Arsenal are next in the pay league with a total wage bill of Â£166.4 million, while the scale of Southampton's recent success is illustrated by the fact that their wage bill was a fraction of their top-four rivals.
The latest figures available for 2012-13 show the Saints, currently third in the Premier League after beating United on Sunday, paid out just Â£47.1 million in salaries.
Chelsea's accounts confirm the club's announcement in November that they made a Â£18.4 million profit last season. Sales of several players, including Juan Mata to United, allowed the club to overturn a Â£49.4 million loss on the season before and should make them assured to comply with UEFA's financial fair play rules.